If you tried to figure out if this card is good,
looked at all the X's on this card, and your
brain just stopped, don't be ashamed. You're in
good company. I needed a jump-start myself.
Let's talk it out together.
When you first cast the Broodmaster, it's a 7/7
for six mana. It doesn't have trample, or
anything else. What is your opponent doing at
six mana? In Limited, he's probably moved to the
Bestow stage of the game, which means he likely
has a 4/4 or 5/5 with plenty of combat
abilities. He may also be getting ready to
Monstrosify his own Monstrosities, which means a
7/7 is either outclassed or is about to be. In
Constructed, the best six-drop right now is
probably Elspeth, who laughs at your 7/7 while
she drops three chump blockers per turn. This
Hydra doesn't hold up well in Constructed, but
it can at least take pride in the fact that it
can block and kill Boros Reckoner without dying.
On your next turn after casting the Hydra, or
whenever your next land drop comes, you'll have
seven mana. Activating Monstrosity then is as
good a time as any, and with seven mana, X=3.
Then, you'll have a 10/10 and three 3/3's.
That's nineteen points of attacking power total
for thirteen mana. Not a bad deal, really. You
should be able to parley that into a swarming
alpha strike. Especially if you also run
something like Overrun.
Really, this is the kind of card you run in a
casual ramp deck. Getting X up to 4 or more just
isn't happening without you ramping, and since
none of these creatures have any abilities to
make themselves more resilient or evasive, you
need to be running something like Coat of Arms,
Beastmaster Ascension, or even Invert the Skies
to get your mana's worth.
Though it's still early in terms of Journey
into Nyx's impact on the Magic world, I've
already seen this card in action. It is not to
be laughed at. The late-game numbers on this
hydra get absolutely ridiculous. While you
always have at least a short opportunity to do
something given that it's not hexproof or
uncounterable, you'd better hope you can take it
right away, because that sort of game plan goes
straight out the window when it becomes
monstrous: what would be considered a low to
medium value of X on other spells is an
explosion of power and tokens that many decks
can't reasonably answer. And that's not even
when the deck is specifically built to take
advantage of the Broodmother (did anybody say
Today's card of the day is Hydra Broodmaster
which is a six mana Green
7/7 with Monstrosity for X, X, and a Green that
also puts X X/X tokens into play. The potential
for this in a Casual mana acceleration build is
fairly impressive, but it takes massive mana
generation or a mana boosting combo to gain the
most from the effect. It is far too slow and
lacking in combat effects to see much if any
competitive play, but with support in a
dedicated build this can be an excellent card
for Casual or Multiplayer.
In Limited this is a top level threat that
can easily win games as 7/7 for six that becomes
a 10/10 and three 3/3s on the following turn,
with one extra mana beyond the casting cost. The
two Green is easily managed in multicolor decks
and this is well worth running the color for in
Sealed if the remaining pool is even mediocre.
For Booster this is a first pick for yourself or
as a hate draft and should not be passed outside
of extraordinary circumstances. The board
presence it offers with no support is one of the
best single cards in the format and should not
A 7/7 creature for 6 mana is pretty good to
begin with. For the cost, you can put through
some pretty serious damage. Aside from costing a
lot (which green can usually deal with), there
are a couple of problems with big creatures.
First, if the creature doesn't have trample,
flying, or some other way to get around
blockers, it's going to get chump blocked by
some random little creature. Secondly, you spent
a lot of mana on your creature, and your
opponent can get rid of it easily with a 2-mana
Doom Blade. Truly great big creatures have ways
to get around these two weaknesses.
The Hydra doesn't exactly get around either
of these very well - at least not immediately.
If he's able to survive one turn and you can
come up with a 7th mana, you can monstrous him
to give you three 3/3 hydras to come along side
him. It's a lot harder to kill a 10/10 and three
3/3's than a single 7/7. But having him survive
a turn and investing enough mana to make his
monstrous worthwhile are both pretty big deals.
Conclusion: He's a worthwhile fatty, and his
potential is huge, but most of the time he's not
going to be better than any other big green
creature. In casual, where mana can abound, this
could get crazy fun. In limited, big efficient
creatures are high picks.
Theros sure does love its Hydras. I feel like
this set has almost single-handedly revived the
Hydra subtype. Seriously, there are only 26
Hydras in all of Magic, and 9 of them are in
standard right now. There's your trivia for the
So, Hydra Broodmaster. Well, you certainly
get your mana's worth with this one. 6 mana for
a 7/7. Green's been getting a lot of that kind
of cost efficiency recently. How playable does
that alone make this card? For limited, very
yes, and for everywhere else its a maybe.
Let's take a look at that ability now.
Goodness, that's a lot of X's! For those not
familliar with double X, both X's in the cost
have to be the same number, so if you want to
have X = 2, then you're paying 4 mana and then
that 1 green for 5 total. For that investment,
you get X +1/+1 counters on the Broodmaster
itself, and X X/X creature tokens. Meaning one
1/1, two 2/2's, three 3/3's, etc. Four 4/4's
would cost 9 mana total, but give you 20 extra
power to play with if you add up the tokens and
counters. That's quite a lot!
Consider that you'd already need to have 6
mana to play this thing, meaning most likely
you'd activate the monstrous ability when you
got to 7 mana, so that X would equal 3. The
total investment would be 13 mana (6 to cast the
hydra, 7 for the ability) and you would be
rewarded with a 10/10, and three 3/3's. 19 power
to throw at your enemy in total.
This card really wants to be in some kind of
crazy mana-ramp deck though, as it does very
well in limited and casual. It won't have much
of a home in faster formats, even with its
impressive power/toughness to cost ratio.
Overall I really want to like this card, and it
IS good. But it doesn't wow me and blow me away.
It's not really a combat trick or a token
generator, because of its one-time-use that the
opponent can predict nature. It's powerful, but
bland. But if you see it across the table from
you, don't underestimate it.
I'm kind of amused that this card can create
offspring only once. I choose to believe this is
because Hydra Broodmaster is in a very committed
relationship, and they've decided that having X
kids is enough for now and they don't want
anymore yet. Not until they get that big
promotion at work and move to a nice place in
the country they've had their eyes on. You know,
that big hydra broodnest of their dreams.